The second issue of The Rush, by Simon Spurrier, picks up hot on the heels right where the first left off. Our protagonist, Nettie, the haunted and beleaguered mother of a missing child, finds herself out in the frozen, white wastes of the far north in the ramshackle boomtown of Brokehoof, surrounded by violent, greedy madmen. While the first issue of The Rush gave us a fantastic opening tableau and introduced us to the world of its story and let us know right away what sinister flavor of supernatural was involved, the second issue focuses much more closely on the insidious nature of man himself. It’s other people you can’t trust. It’s other people that are truly dangerous. Within the pages of The Rush 2, it’s other people that will leave you broken and bleeding out in the snow over a wrong look—they’ll pull out shooting irons over gold. And here in The Rush 2 we find out that there is something else going on in the boomtown, something affecting those who have gone to the far north to find their fortunes. Something is twisting their minds and their perceptions, sending them off the deep end and setting the hook of paranoia under their skin.
That’s not to say all the threats are purely terrestrial, as the supernatural always lurks around the corner, seen most prevalently in the way the inhabitants of the boomtown are unable to leave. Once they’ve staked a claim on the land, it’s as if something curls around their heart, settles in the whorls of their brains, drags them down to become a part of the blinding white landscape as they search desperately for any sign of something that glitters. Only those who don’t hunt for gold are free of this seduction, as evidenced by the local lawman, who is compelled by his oaths to stake no claims. And from the moment our protagonist awakens and arrives in the boomtown, she is plagued by seemingly prophetic dreams and visions. Visions that come unbidden, alarming and horrifying, but that leave her with the insistent feeling that her missing child is still alive…somewhere. Out in the snow. Out in the wastes. It puts Nettie, our protagonist, in a precarious situation and leaves the other inhabitants of Brokehoof more than a little wary of her and her mission.
The art in The Rush 2 is just as brutal and lovely as it was in the first, with Nathan Gooden delivering the same kind of quality along with stellar colors and textures provided by Addison Duke. The art is especially fantastic in the shocking, explosive moments of violence the pop up during the issue as well as the absolutely gorgeous and horrifying moments when the supernatural does decide to rear its monstrous, hideous head. There is something truly, deeply wrong with Brokehoof and we are left with a stunning, gut-wrenching tableau on the final page that delivers a hell of a cliffhanger. All in all, The Rush 2 is just as engrossing and hair raising as the first, if anything setting the stage for an even bigger and more twisted story than I dared hope to imagine. I cannot wait to crack the cover on the third issue, and see what bloody madness the next installment of The Rush has in store. Like the first, I’m giving the second issue a strong four stars. This is not a series to be missed.